PIO: inspection of 4-5 years old documents could not be done as these were not available - CIC: it is not the case that the relevant have been destroyed, but that these are not retrievable - CIC: plea not acceptable; PIO directed to facilitate inspection
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 20.12.2011 filed by the Appellant, seeking information and documents pertaining to the loan account of M/s Quilon Hotels and Resorts Pvt. Ltd. The CPIO responded on 3.2.2012 and informed the Appellant that the bank would arrange for inspection of the records / files on a mutually convenient date. The Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 17.8.2012 and stated that information had not been provided in full. In his order dated 8.10.2012, the FAA stated that the Appellant had been allowed inspection of as many as ten files running into thousands of pages and copies of authenticated documents had also been provided. He further stated that records of the Central Office “could not be provided as these are not available.” Not satisfied with the order of the FAA, the Appellant filed second appeal dated 1.7.2013, to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 8.7.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant stated that the records of the Central Office have still not been shown to him. The representative of the Respondents stated that their Central Office has informed them that the records in question were sent to the record room and are not retrievable. He further submitted that notwithstanding the above, copies of some correspondence of the Central Office have been provided to the Appellant. In response to our query, the representative of the Respondents stated that it is not their case that the relevant records of the Central Office have been destroyed, but that these are not retrievable. In response to another query, he also informed us that the records in question are approximately four or five years old. The Appellant submitted that the Respondents are deliberately denying him inspection of the Central Office records.
3. We have considered the submissions made by both the parties before us. We do not accept the plea that the Respondents are unable to retrieve the records in question from the record room of the Central Office. We direct the CPIO to facilitate inspection of the relevant Central Office records by the Appellant, within thirty working days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
4. With the above direction, the appeal is disposed of.
5. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri K Sreekumar v. Union Bank of India in File No. CIC/VS/A/2013/001609/SH